Thomas Joseph Kline, 81, of Petoskey, died at his home on May 18, 2020.
Tom was born on January 10, 1939, the son of Joseph and Thelma Mae (Looze) Kline. After high school, Tom joined the United States Marine Corps. He spent his deployment in Iwakuni, Japan. Tom proudly served his country from 1957-1960.
On June 8, 1963, Tom married the love of his life, Karen Sue Gray, after she caught his eye at the Mr. Steak restaurant where she worked as a waitress. Together, they raised four children and spent almost 40 years side by side until Karen's death in 2002.
Tom was the Vice President of Tooling and Engineering at Lexalite for 30 years. He was credited with several patents over his life, some of which Ford Motor Company used to design what is now commonplace in car turn signals ("blinkers") and steering wheel columns. He also had a focus in fiber-optic protective systems (FOPS).
In his spare time, Tom liked to deer hunt with his brothers, but his favorite past time was fishing and fly fishing all over Michigan. He liked going to the woods to hunt for mushrooms and berries and some summer nights you could find Tom at the waterfront watching a softball game.
Tom is survived by his children, Mark Kline of Alaska, Tammy McMahon of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Kathy (Jack) Nestell of California; grandchildren Jon (Katrina) Kline, Kaylee Kline, Josh Kline, Jacob Nestell, Madison Nestell and Braden McMahon; and siblings, Jim (Cindy) Kline, Patrick (Carrie) Kline and Karen (Lynn) Murray.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Karen; his son, Scott Kline; a brother, Jerry Kline; and his parents.
Private family serves are being held. Tom will be laid to rest at Greenwood Cemetery in Petoskey, Michigan. Stone Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.
Friends and family are encouraged to make a donation in Tom's memory to the American Legion Post #194 (455 Bay St, Petoskey, MI 49770).
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